Biotech backer LSP banks $100M to fund a new generation of startups

European venture outfit LSP (Life Sciences Partners) has raised $100 million toward a new biotech fund, setting out to stake a dozen or so innovators in drugs, devices and diagnostics.

The latest raise is the close in LSP's planned $190 million 5th fund, with which the Amsterdam-headquartered VC expects to support between 10 and 15 life sciences companies. The new cash follows LSP's fourth fund, a $125 million purse culled from strategic investors including Pfizer ($PFE) and GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK). Like many in the VC space, LSP has used the recent IPO boom to its advantage and cashed out of a few bets, setting the stage for a new round of investments.

Over its 25 years in life sciences VC, LSP has pulled off successful exits across three decades, taking Qiagen ($QGEN) public in 1996, selling Kudos Pharmaceutical to AstraZeneca ($AZN) in 2006 and pulling off a roughly $100 million IPO for Prosensa ($RNA) in 2013, to pick a few examples. And LSP has been particularly active over the past year, with portfolio companies arGEN-X, Affimed ($AFMD) and Celladon ($CLDN) all going public

In total, LSP has invested in more than 75 companies and exited 55 of them, according to the group, charting an average annual return of 25%.

With LSP V, the partners are focused on high unmet needs but are agnostic about indications, considering cancer and cardiovascular diseases in tandem with orphan ailments and genetic disorders, the group said.

Meanwhile, lucrative exits across the industry have propelled a slew of biotech VCs to head back to the well and assemble new funds. Over the past few months, Arch Venture Partners, Venrock, Sofinnova Ventures and Versant Ventures have all debuted new biotech funds. The flurry of activity comes on the heels of a year in which mainstays like Abingworth, Frazier Healthcare and Third Rock pulled off successful new raises.

- read the release

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